Seasonal allergies, also called hay fever and allergic rhinitis, can cause sneezing, congestion and running nose. Here are some tips to try to help you be more comfortable when allergy season hits.
Avoid allergy triggers
You may feel better if you can stay away from allergy triggers. This includes:
- Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
- Have someone else do the lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
- Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
- Don’t hang laundry outside. Pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
- Wear a pollen mask if you do outside chores.
Be aware when pollen counts are high
Your symptoms can flare up when there’s a lot of pollen in the air. Here's how to protect yourself:
- Check your local TV or radio station, your local newspaper or the internet for pollen forecasts and current pollen levels.
- If high pollen counts are forecasted, start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.
- Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.
- Don't go outdoors in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.*
Keep indoor air clean
There's no way to get rid of all allergy triggers, but these suggestions may help:
- Use the air conditioning in your house and car.
- Use a dehumidifier to keep indoor air dry.
If your allergies are bad, your doctor may have you get tested to find out exactly what you're allergic to. Testing can help determine how to best take care of yourself.
*Mayo Clinic. Seasonal allergies: nip them in the bud; mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/in-depth/seasonal-allergies/art-20048343. Accessed September 2, 2018.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.